Mumbai, June 4: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday dubbed Narendra Modi's meeting with Muslim leaders as "image building exercise" and demanded that the Prime Minister showed commitment to the community by including them in decision making process.
"The whole episode of the Prime Minister meeting with Muslim leaders was only an image building exercise and nothing else," NCP national spokesman Nawab Malik told reporters here.
Malik further alleged that no Muslim candidate was given ticket to contest Assembly elections in any of the BJP-ruled state nor was there a single minister from the community.
He also offered NCP support to help BJP MLAs win the by-election provided the saffron party got one or two of its sitting MLAs to resign and that the elected Muslim members be made Cabinet minister and Minister of State.
Besides, the senior leader demanded that free education be provided to Muslims belonging to weaker sections at school and higher level education.
"Muslim youths are doing well in IT sector. If Prime Minister feels more and more children from the community should be well equipped with education, he should ensure free education from KG (kindergarten) to PG (post-graduation) to poor sections of the community," Malik said.
Modi should ensure free education for poor sections of society: Malik
He said Modi should direct the BJP-led Maharashtra government to implement the five per cent quota for Muslims in education.
Meanwhile, Malik criticised the state government for doing away with the 20 per cent reservation for SC/ST in MHADA Housing colonies on government land.
"Earlier rule was if the reserved homes were to be resold, it had to be done to SC/ST only. The BJP government has done away with the reservation," he alleged.
When asked about the controversy over Yoga Day being observed in schools, Malik said it was wrong to link Yoga to religion.
"There is difference between Surya Namaskar and Yoga. Celebration of 'International Yoga Day' is welcome. But, it should be left to schools rather than issuing orders in the manner in which it has been done.
Yoga has been incorporated in PT (physical training) for several years," he added.